Monday, November 19, 2012

The Great Bathroom(s) Remodel of 2012

I promised I'd give you some sort of explanation as to why I haven't been around much this fall. It may not be a good excuse, but it is an explanation of sorts.

We've been remodeling! Two bathrooms, sorely in need of a facelift, finally got them this fall. The project took a little longer than we expected and cost a lot more than we originally thought. Isn't that always the way with house projects?

First, let me give you a little background.

Our home is old. Well, the foundation of our home is old--it probably dates back to the 1940s. It has been remodeled and added to in stages over the past 20 years. We have lived here for 14 years (last week!), and we've loved every minute of making our home our own.

We also love the history of our home because some dear friends of ours lived here before us and put the second story on it. Plus, we learned at some point along the way, that some retired missionaries lived here for a long time and prayed fervently for our neighborhood. Isn't that cool?

About seven years ago we put a pretty big addition onto our home (kitchen, family room, screened in porch, and master bedroom/bathroom), but we left two upstairs bathrooms untouched. They seemed fine to us at the time, and they worked just fine for our kids.

Over the years, things in those bathrooms have, shall we say, fallen apart.

Cabinets were getting a little . . . worn.

The mirrors were showing signs of age.

The tile was starting to come off the countertops, not to mention the crud that just wouldn't go away.

And the doors of the cabinets wouldn't even shut properly anymore.

And, most embarrassing of all, who knows how long we had lived with just the arm of a towel bar? We kept replacing the towel bar, but it kept coming off the wall. I guess we gave up.

We knew these bathrooms really needed attention, but you know how it goes . . . there's always something else that also needs to be done. (Like the furnace we replaced last year.)

But we have a lot of out of town guests, and those guests use these bathrooms. One day, B walked into the bathroom Julia uses and walked out disgusted. He had had enough. Our bathroom situation had become embarrassing!

So we decided that we really had to do something.

And something we did. We gutted both of them and replaced everything. 

Here are some before and after photos for your enjoyment.

Worn out, dilapidated cabinets replaced with new cabinetry from Restoration Hardware.

Nasty, plain white everything replaced with a walk-in shower and custom shelving (made by our contractor).

Before: linen closet in the corner. After: built-in unit made to match the cabinets in that bathroom.

Old stock vanity replaced with Restoration Hardware sink base and solid marble top.

Old single-handle faucets replaced with shiny new Kohler faucets.

Remember, we did two bathrooms. One, at the top of the stairs, is smaller and got the weathered wood cabinets. The other is our old master bathroom (before we added a new master) and is the bathroom Julia uses now. She gets displaced when we have guests stay with us.

Here are a few more "after" photos for you.

This is the bathroom at the top of the stairs (um, hello Me in my sweats!).

Restoration Hardware cabinet and marble countertop.

View from the tub. There's a small linen closet on the left.

Our builder thought of making these shelves from some of the extra marble. I love them!

Lighting was a bit of an issue, so we decided to go with a big mirror and mount the sconces right on the mirror in order to double the light. 

This is Julia's bathroom, but also the guest bathroom (and the old master bathroom).

View from the shower.

The cabinets in here were also from Restoration Hardware, but we got the marble somewhere else.

This is a close-up of the open shelving unit that our builder made for us. Didn't he do a great job of matching the RH cabinets?

Finally, a couple of details I especially liked.

The Kohler "Flip Side" showerhead. My kids specifically requested a detachable showerhead. I also LOVE the tile work in this bathroom.

Another shot of the tile work and corner shelving in Julia's shower.

I know, I know, I didn't actually do ANY of the work, but the project still took a lot out of me. I did quite a bit of running around to pick out tile, find marble, choose cabinets, and select plumbing fixtures. All of this took time when I wasn't teaching.

So my fall was basically this. It was worth the time, the occasional frustrations, and the *gulp* money.

And now our bathrooms are ready for anything . . . or any one.

When are you coming to visit? *wink wink*



  1. They both look lovely! Was just thinking as I showered this morning that our master bath has definitely reached the "it's time for some serious work" phase of life. Sadly, the savings account isn't there yet...

  2. Both look FABULOUS!!! Having been on the receiving end of your gracious hospitality more than once, I can honestly say I never gave it much thought that the bathroom needed updating. :-) But I'm sure J. is loving her pretty new space!

  3. Oh my goodness ... these are so lovely. What a great reason to not be blogging. You must be so pleased and just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas.


  4. Beautiful! Do I need a reservation?

  5. Karen, if you're the Karen I think you are, you NEVER need a reservation. :)

  6. Wow, how beautiful - such great choices!

    I have white tiles too, and when I clean it, I use (white) turtle wax (that's right, the stuff you put on cars!) to finish it up, and then stash a squeegee or towel to wipe it after each use. Keeps it clean for that much longer. :)

    Enjoy both of them!

  7. I can totally relate. I haven't been blogging as much either since we've been in reno's since the end of August! And you are right, they always take longer and cost more than you originally think!

    You're bathrooms look great! Love the idea of mounting the lights on the mirrors! And love that shower with the marble shelves. My kids want that flip showerhead.

  8. Wowee, Missus, it's looking fantastic! I love the must feel like grinning an enormous grin every time you go in there! In fact, I'm not sure I'd ever want to leave!